Our free MLB Picks are out for Tuesday, August 17th, 2021! Make sure you check our MLB Picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Toronto Blue Jays @ Washington Nationals – 7.05PM ET
After a night off on Monday, the Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays get stuck into it tonight, kicking off a quick two game series in the nation’s capital. Washington will be hoping that the day off allows them to reboot, having lost their last seven games, while Toronto needs to bounce back after a tough series in Seattle. Who takes the opener… find out below!
While Toronto have lost three of their last four, including a 1-2 series loss to the Mariners, I think they’ll win this one and win it comfortably. Washington is in all sorts at the moment, losing seven straight and now having Erick Fedde start against one of the most explosive batting units in the league. Fedde is just 4-8 with a 5.12 ERA so far this season, meaning Toronto, who has the best OPS and has hit the second most home runs, should have a field day. Adding to that is the fact that the Blue Jays are starting Alek Manoah, who is 5-1 with an ERA of 2.59 from 11 starts this season. That is a massive difference in class and ability, meaning Toronto should have this in the bag.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (-122)
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 16, 2021
The Blue Jays are coming off a series loss to Mariners (1-2) and the Nationals have also come off a series loss to the Braves (0-3). The Nationals have also lost seven games in a row, and are now 12.5 games behind the NL East leading Braves. Let’s dive a little deeper into some more stats now shall we! The Blue Jays have won seven of their past nine interleague games on the road. Also out of their previous 16 interleague games, the Blue Jays have won 13 of them. On the flip side, the Nationals have won just 29 of their past 90 games when they are the underdog playing at home, and only eight of their previous 33 games in total. When these two teams have faced off against each other, the Blue Jays have won eight of the previous 11. Can’t see how the Nationals can get the win here, I’ll be on the Blue Jays for a comfortable win.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (-122)
The 63-win Blue Jays play the 50-win Nationals in a game that is crucial for the Blue Jays to keep their slim playoff chances. In order to back up these chances the Blue Jays are starting Alek Manoah at pitcher. Manoah hasn’t played many innings but has been phenomenal when he has played. Manoah has only lost 1 game as the starting pitcher, has an incredible 2.59 ERA and has 71 strikeouts in just 59 innings pitched. Manoah is coming up against Erick Fedde who is a lot less impressive with a 4-8 record and a bad 5.12 ERA. Pitching-wise the Blue Jays have a huge edge and they have everything to play for right now, while the Nationals don’t. The Blue Jays batting lineup is also being led by Vladimir Guerrero Jr who is 2nd in the MLB for home runs and anchors the strong unit. The Blue Jays should cruise by this Nationals team.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (-122)
Milwaukee Brewers @ St Louis Cardinals – 7.45PM ET
Our second game of the night as an NL Central showdown between the first placed Milwaukee Brewers and the third placed St Louis Cardinals. The home team brings in some exceptional form of late, winning six straight and seven of their last nine overall, but the Brewers are better than any team they face during that stretch, meaning this will be a tough one.
This is a tough game to pick. The Brewers are obviously the class team in this matchup but they gave up 14 runs to the Pirates just three games ago and the Cards are playing some good baseball of late. Looking to the pitchers to get a better idea of who might have the edge, both are top level this season, making it even tougher again. Corbin Burnes is starting for Milwaukee and he brings a 7-4 record with a mighty impressive 2.23 ERA, which is third in the majors this season. Meanwhile St Louis is starting Adam Wainwright, who is 11-6 with an ERA of 3.27 from 23 starts. That ERA dips to 2.78 when pitching at home, making this an even closer contest. The Cards spread, given they are dogs, is appealing but given the class of both pitchers, I like the under in this one.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Under 7.5 (-122)
Both teams are in the NL Central, the Brewers are leading the way and the Cardinals are 10 games behind them. The Brewers are coming off a series win against the Pirates (but they surprisingly dropped the first game in that series) and the Cardinals are coming off a series win as well, against the Royals (3-0). The Cardinals are doing all they can to close the gap to the Brewers at the moment, and they have won eight of their previous nine games. When it comes to the first game of the series, the Cardinals have won five out of their previous six, they have also won all four of their previous clashes with a team in the NL Central. With the Brewers, they have won six out of their previous seven when it comes to the first game of the series. They have also won four out of their previous five after the team as a day off and have won five of their previous seven games on a Tuesday. With the Cardinals form, I think they are good enough to give the Brewers a run for their money.
The Milwaukee Brewers are looking to add another win to their 72 win season against the middle of the field St Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals recently have been red hot winning 8 of their last 10 and are currently enjoying a 6 game winning streak. Granted, all of these wins have been against subpar competition, but the Cardinals are playing well nonetheless. The Brewers will present a challenge though as they have won 7 of the last 10, and they should shock the Cardinals, who haven’t played good competition in a few weeks. The Brewers are also starting Corbin Burnes who has the 3rd best ERA in the MLB and is 3rd in strikeouts as well. The Cardinals do still have a slim chance of making the playoffs so they will be playing with some urgency but I think the Brewers will shock them and dispose of them easily.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Milwaukee Brewers -1.5 (+114)
Houston Astros @ Kansas City Royals – 8.10PM ET
While this matchup looks to be lopsided on paper, in favour of the Houston Astros, nobody told that to the Kansas City Royals, who stole the opener 7-6. Can the Royals add more misery to this rough patch for the Astros, or can the road team show why they are on top of the AL Central with a bounce back performance tonight?
Houston is beginning to get in a habit of losing games they shouldn’t, dropping matchups against the Twins, Angels and now Royals over the last two weeks. However, I expect them to bounce back in emphatic fashion tonight. They are given the ball to Framber Valdez to open the night, and he has been very impressive this year. A 8-3 record with an ERA of 3.09 from 14 games, all starts, is top level numbers and that has provided excellent support to an offense that has scored the most runs so far this season. They should be looking to add some more to that total given the Royals have Daniel Lynch starting on the mound. In his first year of action, after being drafted in 2018, Lynch is just 2-3 from seven games and has a massive 5.97 ERA. The fact that this is a lopsided matchup should be shown in this one, and it could get ugly.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Houston Astros -2.5 (+118)
Well, well, well, look what we have here, a massive game one upset when the top of the AL West Astros, lost to the bottom of the AL Central Royals yesterday. Despite this upset, the Astros stats are all very supportive, let’s take a look at some of them. The Astros have managed to win all five of their previous games on a Tuesday and have won 66 of their previous 96 when playing a team in the AL Central. Looking at the Royals now, they have won 10 of their previous 14 when playing a team that has a left handed starter, but have won just 17 of their previous 70 when playing a team in the AL West and only six of their previous 19 when it comes to the second game of a series. I’m all for an underdog story, but I just can see this happening twice in a row, the Astros are too good of a team for that, so I’ll be on the Astros to put in a dominant performance and put the Royals back in their place.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Houston Astros -1.5 (-128)
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) August 17, 2021
The bottom of the AL Central division Royals play the 70-win Astros in a game that is crucial for the Astros to maintain the division lead. The Astros lead the AL West by just 2.5 games and need to ensure they pick up every win they can get so that the Athletics don’t catch up. Although the Royals have been bad lately, as highlighted by their 3-7 record in the last 10 games, the Astros haven’t been much better, only winning 5 of the last 10 games. If the Astros want to maintain the division lead and gain momentum before the playoffs they need to collect some wins and get some rhythm and cohesion. The Astros are starting Framber Valdez to ensure they maintain this division lead. Valdez has been great this year winning 8 of his 14 starts and posting a 3.09 ERA. The Astros will look to destroy some lesser competition in what looks to be not only a crucial game for the playoffs but will also likely serve as a tune up game for their playoff run.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Houston Astros -1.5 (-128)
Cleveland Indians @ Minnesota Twins – 8.10PM ET
After winning consecutive series over the Astros, White Sox and Rays, the Minnesota Twins have hit their stride and that showed in another win, this time 5-4 over the Cleveland Indians. While the Twins have been in good form of late, the same can’t be said for the Indians, who have won just two of their last seven games.
While the Indians are ranked higher than the Twins in the AL Central, the Twins are deservedly favourites in this clash. They have been beating teams that are much better than Cleveland is and are playing exceptionally well on both sides of the ball. On the other hand, Cleveland is not playing well on either side of the ball and are handing the ball to Eli Morgan to start the game, which is a disappointing selection to say the least. Morgan is just 1-5 with a 6.52 ERA from his 10 starts and last time out he was disastrous, giving up five runs in four innings in a game Cleveland lost 17-0. While you’d expect him to play better than that, I don’t think it will be enough and I like the Twins to win this one.
The Indians are 11 games behind the AL Central leaders, the White Sox, whereas the Twins are 16 games behind the White Sox. The Twins were good enough to take out the first game of this series in a nail biting 10th innings, hopefully we see more of the same tonight. The Indians seem to be struggling when it comes to playing games on a Tuesday, as they haven’t managed to pull together a win in their last five Tuesday games. They also have managed to get a win in their previous four games when it comes to the second game of a series. Looking at the Twins now, they have won four of their previous five games at home, but only three of their previous 12 when they are the favorite. I’ll be looking at the over for this game, as it has hit in the Indians previous five out of six games when they are playing a right handed starter, and has hit in 14 of the Twins’ previous 17 games on a Tuesday.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Over 9.5 (-106)
The Indians play the Twins in a seemingly meaningless matchup here. Both teams are starting their most underutilized pieces to see what they have for next season. Both starting pitchers have played less than 58 innings this year. The Indians pitcher Eli Morgan has been horrible lately. Morgan has a 6.52 ERA, which is horrible, and has posted a 11.25 ERA in his last game. Morgan’s last start was a 17-0 obliteration by the A’s where Morgan pitched just four innings and allowed 5 runs. The Twins on the other hand are going with Bailey Ober who has been closer to average than bad posting a 4.53 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Ober is not as bad as Morgan overall and although he allowed 6 hits in his last game, Ober did not allow any runs. The Twins have the edge pitching here but the edge isn’t that great. The Twins should win here in a close one.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Minnesota Twins -1.5 (+125)
Pittsburgh Pirates @ Los Angeles Dodgers – 10.10PM ET
The Los Angeles Dodgers took game one of this three game series in a low scoring fizz out, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1. LA now sits four games behind the Giants for top of the NL West, but still seven games ahead of anyone that could steal a wild card slot off them, while the Pirates are 24 games back from that wild card slot, meaning there is a 31 game swing between these two National League sides.
The Pirates have just one win from their last 12 games, weirdly beating the Brewers 14-4. Outside of that, they have been outscored 60-20 in their 11 losses over that stretch and face one of the best teams in baseball, who are starting an impressive pitcher and have a top level batting lineup. David Price is 4-1 with a 3.60 ERA from his 30 games, nine of which were starts. He has given up just 13 runs from his nine starts this season and should help restrict a Pittsburgh offense that is ranked last for runs this season. Meanwhile, the Dodgers are ranked second for runs, scoring 197 more than the Pirates, and should take advantage of Wil Crowe, who has an ERA of 5.27 and has given up 23 runs across his last five starts on the road.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-156)
First Dodger homer for Billy McKinney! pic.twitter.com/seVvZxzzpN
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 17, 2021
It was pretty low scoring in the first game between the Pirates and the Dodgers, with the Dodgers ending up getting the victory 2-1. The Dodgers have now won four games in a row, whereas the Pirates have lost three games in a row. The Dodgers are just four games behind the NL West leading Giants, and they really need to get all the wins they can against the lower teams, like the Pirates to bolster their season record and claw back some valuable games. The Pirates on the other hand have one of the worst away records in the league, at 18-41. This one has got a Dodgers victory all over it!
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-156)
The pitiful Pirates are 1-9 in their last 10 games and have lost their last 3. The Dodgers on the other hand have been on fire winning 8 of their last 10 games and have won 4 games in a row. The Dodgers are a lock for postseason action with a 99.8% probability of making the playoffs. LA have also won all 4 games against the Pirates this year and now the Pirates are starting Wil Crowe, who is just 3-7 and has a below average 5.27 ERA. Crowe does not provide hope here for a Pirates win. The Dodgers are starting David Price who has a 4-1 record this season and has a slightly above average 3.60 ERA. Price should deliver the win here. The Dodgers have also allowed just 427 runs this season, an MLB best, and this should continue. LA also has the best run differential in the MLB with a +194 run differential, while the Pirates are 2nd worst run with a -181 differential. Although many might bet on the overs due to the stats, I wouldn’t as only one of the four games that they guys have played has gone over 8 runs. The Dodgers should dispose of the Pirates but I’m weary of the Pirates making this a close game, as they have in the past. Pittsburgh has only lost the matchups against the Dodgers by an average of 1.75 runs so I will not be taking the line here.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (-330)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.